Skinny Buffalo Chicken Dip

Super Bowl Sunday is a great day to spend with friends and family. But it can also be a day full of food and overindulgence. The best way to prepare for an event where you know there’s going to be a lot of temptation is to bring a healthier version of a dish you enjoy. Here’s a delicious lightened up Buffalo Chicken Dip thanks to GimmeSomeOven that is sure to please everyone.

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 oz. (half a block) reduced-fat (or fat-free) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim Mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce (I prefer Frank’s)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled light blue cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. ranch seasoning (optional)
  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken

DIRECTIONS:

TO MAKE IN THE OVEN:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, stir all ingredients together until well-mixed. Transfer mixture to a small greased baking dish, and bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the edges begin to slightly brown. Remove and serve immediately.

TO MAKE ON THE STOVE:

Stir all ingredients together in a medium saucepan until combined over medium-low heat. Continue heating for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cheese is melted and the dip is simmering. Remove and serve immediately.

TO MAKE IN THE SLOW COOKER:

Stir all ingredients together in a slow cooker until combined. Heat on low for 4 hours or until the cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

Have a go to healthier version of a recipe you love? We’d love to hear it! Share in our Women Who Define Brave Facebook group!

What’s under your wild side?

As many of you know I got my start in apparel with screen printed novelty underwear. I loved doing the underwear and coming up with new sayings. It was so fun seeing women pick pairs to express themselves and their personality. Lolly provided women with sassy self confidence. It wasn’t for anyone else but yourself. Well, I decided to put some of our best sellers into fun variety packs. rockstarposter2hc

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“Lolly38 has an adorable line of cotton-lycra panties that are comfortable boy-cut short style, and feature all sorts of cute slogans on the bum side that show some cheekiness. The company sent me a few styles to try, and all were flattering, comfy, seamless boy shorts that felt like a second skin, and had flirty little messages like Hot Cakes, Sweet Cheeks, or Hot Momma to spice up the Monday thru Sunday boring underwear usual suspects.”
-April M, for Monsters and Critics
Lolly underwear gives women a flirty new way to express their personality. Known for quality panties with a cheeky sense of humor, Lolly underwear is fun with a little touch of sex appeal. After all, only you and Lolly know what’s under your wild side!

Lolly underwear is flattering, comfy, seamless boy shorts with flirty messages across the bottom – Hot Mama, Sweet Cheeks, Smarty Pants, Spank Me, Brown Sugar and Drama Queen are just a few of our favorites. Underwear comes in all sizes, from the teeny to the Queenly. Lolly is all about having fun with what you wear. From silly to sexy, Lolly has you covered!

What’s for dinner?

“What’s for dinner?” …it’s the never ending question right? Almost everyday I ask my husband some form of this question. Sometimes I have ideas and sometimes I’m looking  for direction or inspiration. We all have our “go-to” recipes but when they get boring what do you do? 

I had forgotten about this delicious meatloaf recipe and my husband requested it. As a kid meatloaf never sounded appealing but as an adult yum 😋! Plus I love knowing we’ll have leftovers for lunch🍴.

I don’t like mushrooms so instead I used chopped broccoli  and it was delicious 😋 ! Here’s the recipe for healthy meatloaf:

Ingredients
2 pounds grass-fed ground beef
1 pound nitrate-free bacon, roughly chopped
1 onion, chopped
8 oz mushrooms, chopped
1 cup almond flour
2 eggs, slightly beaten
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1-3 Tbsp hot sauce (optional)
1/2 cup paleo ketchup

Preparation

Be sure to place a pan under your dish
to catch the bacon drips.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Add bacon to large skillet over medium high heat. Saute for 10-15 minutes or until bacon begins to crisp. Add onion and mushroom and saute for an additional 5-10 minutes or until onion starts to become translucent.
In the meantime, crumble ground beef into a large mixing bowl. Add egg and 1/2 cup almond flour, using your hands to combine.
Combine paleo ketchup and hot sauce in a small bowl.
When bacon mixture is ready, drain fat and add bacon, onion, and mushrooms to meat. Fold in using a wooden mixing spoon or your hands. Season with salt and pepper.
Transfer meat to a large loaf pan. Pat it down gently and round the top a little bit.
Pour ketchup mixture on top and spread evenly with a spatula.
Place in the oven on the middle rack. Place a large rimmed baking sheet underneath it.
Bake for one hour or until cooked through.
To serve, slice as you would bread. Serve on its own or with a green salad.

meatloaf

How to stay sane and survive Halloween

Do you get candy anxiety every Halloween? I definitely do! Watch the video below for 7 simple strategies to get you through Halloween!

How to stay sane and not give up on my health and fitness goals through Halloween 🎃 Katie Kozloff Banks

Posted by Katie K Active on Monday, October 30, 2017

Are you ready to make a real change?

As many of you may already know, I came up with the idea for Katie K Active while working as a personal trainer in Philly. I remember my boss at the gym would always say, “Every trainer needs a trainer”. He was right. Having someone to keep you focused and support you isn’t mandatory to achieving your health and fitness goals, but it definitely helps! As a trainer it was my job to keep my clients motivated and push them to work hard and get them out of their comfort zone, but they also had to do their part. It was a team effort.

After posting my planking picture last week and getting some comments, I decided to see if I had something to compare it to. The top picture is from the last time we did a plank challenge, last summer. It was thrilling to see my progress over the year and see some physical evidence of all my workouts. But I was also disappointed. For all those workouts and time spent trying to be healthy, I thought I should look more fit or be a smaller size. Too many times we’re overly critical of ourselves but sometimes it’s just what we need to push ourselves to make a change.

I need to be honest with myself and admit I’m not as focused as I could be. I have been working out regularly but I’ve struggled with how I’m fueling my body. Personally, I think nutrition is the hardest part. With our busy lives it can be hard to stay consistent with nutrition and exercise. I truly loved being a personal trainer and working with people one on one. I miss feeling like a team, helping each other stay focused on our goals and working together to achieve them. So I’d like to bring on a few clients again. I’m ready to commit to myself and you, to be real with myself and make the necessary changes to my lifestyle to achieve my health and fitness goals.

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So who wants to join me? I want to help you accomplish your health and fitness goals, but also to help me. I’m just not where I’d like to be and I’m ready to make a real change. I want to get back to where I felt good and be more comfortable in my own skin and clothes. I’m tired of always restarting on Monday and losing my motivation by Thursday. I want to be part of a team where we’re all supporting, motivating and inspiring each other to push harder and achieve our health and fitness goals.

Here’s what you get when you hire me as your personal trainer:
-Weekly meal plan
-Portion control
-Delicious recipes
-Daily check ins
-Accountability and support
-Personalized attention
-30 minute workouts
-Direct access to me

If you’re serious and want to learn more, please email me Katie@KatieKActive.com and use the subject line “I want to make a change”.

Let’s work together to get healthy and fit while navigating our busy lives!

6 Benefits of Planking Daily

I’ve always known planks are a great exercise to build core strength and provide a challenge to ourselves. There are a lot of ways to do planks from just a simple forearm plank to a side plank with leg raise. However, no matter how simple, I always find them a hard yet rewarding exercise. With practice improvement does come and progress can be easily measured. But if that isn’t enough of a reason, here are 6 benefits from planking daily:

  1. Improved Core Definition and Performance
    1. For a plank you use all your major core muscle groups. I’m not talking about just your abdominal muscles but it’s a total body exercise, engaging all your muscles from your head to your toes. Planks strengthen all these muscle groups to give you better overall exercise performance in addition to a stronger core.
  2. Reduces Back Pain
    1. Planks strengthen your upper back muscles in addition to your core without putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. A strong core protects your back and provides much needed support.
  3. Boost Your Metabolism
    1. Since planks challenge your entire body by strengthening more than just your abdominal muscles you’ll burn more than traditional crunches. Because it’s a total body exercise the muscles you strengthen will burn more energy even when sedentary by doing planks on a daily basis.
  4. Increased Flexibility
    1. The muscles around your shoulders, collar bone and shoulder blades expand and stretch in a plank but you’ll also be stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet and toes.
  5. Improves Your Mood
    1. Planks help stretch and relax muscle groups that become stiff from prolonged sitting releasing the muscle tightness from a sedentary day. Planks also stretch muscle groups that contribute to tension and stress.
  6. Improve Your Balance and Posture
    1. Planks strengthen your core and all the muscles needed for proper posture so you’ll be able to sit or stand up straighter with ease. Good posture also means your joints and bones are in correct alignment, which means they’ll be better maintained and healthy but it also mean your muscles will be more effective.

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Join our 15 Day Plank Challenge and reap the benefits of planking everyday! Go to our Women Who Define Brave group to get all the info and join in the fun! We’ll be doing giveaways so be sure to share your planking pictures for a chance to win! 

plankchallenge

Who Inspires You?

Last night I had the privilege of listening to Kathrine Switzer. For those of you who might not recognize her name, she was the first woman to run the Boston Marathon. Kathrine was amazing to listen to because she was unbelievably inspiring in such a matter of fact kind of way.

She told us the story of how she became the first woman to run the Boston Marathon. But she said it really all started with her Father. He was the first person to really inspire her to reach further and strive for the best. Her father taught her that to be successful was simple but not without a lot of effort. That all she needed to do was put in the work and to “show up” and she would be ahead of everyone else.

Kathrine had another very influential person, the volunteer running coach at Syracuse. Although they didn’t have women’s sports yet, they let her run with the cross country team. Over time they developed a very close friendship and once she proved to him that the beliefs he had about women and their capability wrong, he became her biggest supporter. He believed in her, pushed her and was by her side when she ran the marathon.

kshandskneesIt was amazing to listen to Kathrine recount the moment in time that has now become so famous and changed women’s running and sports forever. From that moment on she has worked hard to change sports to include more women’s events. And she did!

In addition to being incredibly inspired, I thought Kathrine made a very important point. There will always be a few people who really inspire you. They will push you to do and be better and reach for what you think is unachievable. You never know who these people will be but they will touch your life in immeasurable ways. And that we all have the opportunity to be that for someone else.

kathrineswitzer

How to get started on your fitness journey

I had recently asked a group of women what their biggest fitness obstacle was and the overwhelming answer was “how to get started”. For some people, exercise is just a part of their life, a piece of their daily routine. But for many others, it’s hard to even know where to start. Deciding to start a fitness routine shouldn’t be scary but getting started is often the hardest part.

Here are 9 tips on how to begin your fitness journey:

  1. Set realistic goals: Make SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely). Think about your overall goal and break it down into actionable pieces. Many people start a fitness routine to lose weight. But focus on exercising 4 days a week, with 2 days being strength training and 2 days being cardio. Plan out which days you’ll workout and what you’ll do on those days. Then commit to 30 days of this plan and see where you are at the end. Most likely, you’ll lose weight or inches and gain the benefits of more energy and feeling great.
  2. Track your fitness progress: What gets measured gets managed right? So make sure you’re keeping track of measurable points so you can see your progress. This is more than just the number on the scale. Take your measurements and update them every few weeks. You may lose inches but not pounds, but it’s still progress! Or track how long you can run for or how long into a workout until you need a break. Seeing these numbers change will show you are making progress and your hard work is paying off!
  3. Celebrate your success everyday: Your fitness journey won’t always be easy, it’s challenging to change your lifestyle. It takes commitment, motivation and planning to make fitness a regular part of your lifestyle. But the benefits are totally worth it! Celebrate every day, no matter how small. Did you get in a workout when you totally didn’t feel like it? Maybe you tried something new or used a heavier weight. Or maybe you were able to make it 5 more minutes in your workout. Recognize these moments and congratulate yourself! You’re making a change and working towards your goal, each step towards that goal needs to be celebrated
  4. Get the right gear: You need to feel good and be prepared with the right clothes for your workout. If your clothes don’t fit right you could be distracted by having to constantly pull up your pants during your activity, trip over long pants, jiggle in places you don’t want to, chafing or feel uncomfortable jumping around without the proper support for the girls. All of these things could ruin your experience so make sure you invest in yourself and wear activewear meant for your activity. Plus having a new outfit will motivate you to want to show it off!
  5. Know your why: You need to have a good, strong reason as to why you want to make this change to your lifestyle and routine. There will be challenging times and you’ll want to give up, but you need something to keep you focused on your goals. Why do you want to get healthy? What’s driving you? It has to be something more than “I want to get healthy”. Put something real behind it like: I want to be able to run around with my kids, I want to participate in the activities with my friends, I want to be able to get up a flight of stairs and not feel winded, I want to run a 5K without stopping etc. Figure out your why and let it push you through those difficult times when you need motivation and inspiration.img_4980-2
  6. No workout is off limits: You may want to do a workout but think you have to be at a certain level or that you can’t do a specific workout. Get out of your comfort zone and try it! There are always ways to modify an exercise to make it doable. So even if it intimidates you but looks like something you’d like to do, you should! Maybe you have to take extra breaks to get through it, so what, you’re still doing the workout and it’s all part of your journey. Modifying the exercises will help you develop the strength and stamina so that over time you will get better and eventually might not need to modify.
  7. Don’t wait: It’s a common feeling to think I’ll start my fitness routine after I’ve lost some weight or once I feel more comfortable in my body. But exercise has an amazing benefit…it gives you confidence. It helps show you that you’re capable of amazing things and helps you feel good in your own body. So don’t wait until you feel better about yourself, start your fitness journey and use the body you have right now to get healthy.
  8. Make it fun: Find something that you enjoy! No one is going to keep doing something if they hate it or had a negative experience. It’s important to find a class or workout that you like. Try different things and you’ll find workouts that are enjoyable. Maybe you’re not the traditional workout type so get outside for a hike, sign up for a dance class or join a sports league. There’s many different ways exercise, so make sure to find something you enjoy so that you’ll want to keep doing it.
  9. Have a support system: Whether its working with a trainer or recruiting a friend to be an accountability partner, you need a support system. There will be times you’re tired or uninspired but your support team will help push you. Knowing there are other people counting on you will motivate to keep going and striving to achieve your goal!

 

Your Favorite Meals Made Healthy

Last week I asked the Women Who Define Brave group what meal or food they couldn’t give up. I loved hearing from you and learning more about everyone’s tastes. There were a lot of answers that were similar so I thought it might be fun to create healthy versions of the items we all love.

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  1. French Fries: Make your own healthy “French Fries” at home. Instead of deep frying and using lots of oil and salt, you can make a delicious version of fries at home in your oven. Baked fries really are amazing! You get the flavor and feel of french fries without the grease and guilt. These leave me feeling good and are a great way to incorporate your favorite side so you don’t feel like you’re giving anything up. Here are two recipes I found for great tasting baked fries:
    • https://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipes/dinner/crunchy-baked-french-fries/
    • http://dailyburn.com/life/recipes/healthy-homemade-french-fries-recipes/
  2. Ice Cream: There are a few ways to indulge your craving for Ice Cream without upsetting your waistline. If you’re out at an ice cream shop choosing sugar free or getting a kiddie size version are good options. But now there healthy brands to choose from in the grocery store!
    • http://www.eatthis.com/high-protein-ice-cream
  3. Pizza: This is definitely one of my foods that’s hard for me to live without. I love pizza and crave it often. I’ve learned to make healthier versions so I can still enjoy it because I know I couldn’t eliminate it from my life! I use flatbread for the crust or if I’m feeling ambitious I’ll make my own cauliflower crust. I think you can now buy cauliflower crusts at some stores like a Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods. But sometimes I need the carbs and the flatbread is perfect. Here are some ideas to revamping your pizza:
    • https://greatist.com/health/make-healthier-pizza

September’s 5 Day Clean Eating Challenge

Life gets busy and things get pushed aside. It’s easy to say you want to eat clean but following through can be a different story. I don’t know about you, but I definitely fall into that weekly cycle of starting the week eating healthy and clean, but I tend to let it all go by the weekend.

Eating clean always makes me feel amazing. I have more energy for my day. I tend to sleep better and fall asleep more easily. There’s no after meal bloat. My workouts are better. It’s amazing what fueling your body correctly can feel like!

I’m ready to put in a focused week to break my usual weekly cycle. I know it all comes down to being prepared and planning ahead. So I’ve mapped out 5 days of delicious meals to keep us satisfied and full. Knowing what to eat, having it prepared ahead of time and enjoying the food will help ensure our success!

The challenge is starting next week, Monday 9/18! Are you going to join me? I’m so excited about doing this together. I need to get refocused on my health and fitness goals, especially after celebrating my Birthday all week!

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Make sure you’re a member of our Women Who Define Brave Facebook group. I posted the menu, recipes and grocery list in there. I kept some favorite items but I added some new meals that I’m excited to try. I’ll be curious to hear your feedback!

Let’s encourage and support each other through the challenge. Share your meals, workouts or tips for a chance to win prizes from us! Get ready to feel AWESOME!

Here’s the menu:

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Breakfast 2 Eggs, whole grain waffle, berries Overnight Oats 2 Eggs, whole grain waffle, berries Overnight Oats 2 Eggs, whole grain waffle, berries
Snack Power Shake Veggies & Hummus Power Shake Veggies & Hummus Power Shake
Lunch Niçoise Salad Slow cooker salsa Verde w/ brown rice and green beans Spicy Shrimp Salmon, snap peas & quinoa Avocado Turkey Burger salad
Snack Veggies & Hummus Apple w Almond butter Veggies & Hummus Apple w Almond butter Veggies & Hummus
Dinner Slow cooker salsa Verde w/ brown rice and green beans Spicy Shrimp Salmon, snap peas & quinoa Avocado Turkey Burger & side salad Flat bread pizza

Get the the grocery list and recipes in our Women Who Define Brave group. Let’s all do this together!

September is for Goal Setting

My sister and I were talking the other day about how September seems to mark another time during the year to think really think about your goals and get refocused. Maybe we’ve just all been trained to always think of this “Back to School” time of year as a time to reset and get fresh start. It’s a great time to reflect and think about what we want and how we’re going to do it.

As Labor Day was coming to an end, I was trying to be even more conscious about this and really think about what my goals are and what I want to accomplish for the rest of the year. I needed to decide my top priorities and what I was going to focus on. I also needed to think about how I was going to accomplish them.

Even though I think about all of this every year I don’t always follow through. So this time, I want to buckle down and tackle those few items that are really important to me. I want to finish out the year strong and complete those goals I was really committed to accomplishing.

Do you feel the same way? Are there a few goals that you really want to accomplish by the end of the year? Will you join me? Let’s do this together!

Here are some tips to setting yourself up for success:

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3 Tips to staying having a happy and healthy Labor Day

The summer always seems to fly by so quickly! I can’t believe Labor Day is this weekend and the end of Summer is already here. I know for me, September always feels like a time to get back to routine and get refocused. And although you may be looking at this weekend as your “last hurrah” before you get focused, you can indulge and enjoy without completely going crazy.

Here are 3 easy tips to follow while you enjoy your Labor Day weekend:

  1. Load up on Veggies: Snack on raw veggies or have a salad first. This will help fill you up and keep you feeling full longer.
  2. Drink plenty of water: Especially if you’re spending time outside in the heat. And if you’re drinking alcohol, mixing in water will help you stay hydrated and keep you from going overboard.
  3. Be mindful but enjoy: If there’s some item that you really love, go enjoy it, but do so in moderation. Being mindful yet still indulging will help you feel satisfied and not feel deprived.

Looking for some recipe ideas so you can create your own healthy item for the BBQ? Check out this link for 4 great recipes that are sure to be a hit at any party: http://greatideas.people.com/2015/08/24/hungry-girl-labor-day-healthy-recipes/